Late December has arrived. That means store shelves should be growing thin across the country, as millions of outdoor enthusiasts wander aisles and websites for the perfect gift for their holiday of choice. And while anglers will undoubtedly receive endless rod and reel combos, new tackle boxes, tackle bags and spools of line this holiday season, there are a few gift items set to make an unusual splash this year. I’ve found five of them for your reading pleasure.
1. Minnow Cruiser Skateboard
Bureo’s Minnow Cruiser Skateboard is made out of 100 percent recycled fishing nets. Proceeds from each board go to support Chilean fishermen and clean oceans. Bureo says they’ve already recycled over $176,000 worth of plastic from the ocean through collection points and programs. For those not inclined to shred, the company also makes a Jenga set made of the same fishing net material.
2. Fusion StereoActive Portable Marine Stereo
You’ve probably seen Fusion around trade shows under the glow of a floating, green alien head. The Australia-based audio brand made a splash in early 2017 with the introduction of its StereoActive bluetooth speaker, which mounts via a customized clamp to boats, kayaks, and just about anything you can stick 3M tape to. For anglers who fish out of watercraft that don’t have a built-in audio system, the StereoActive is an easy bolt-on way to add music and weather radio for cheap. As a bonus, it also doubles as a USB-based phone charger and a storage compartment just the right size for terminal tackle.
3. Garmin Quatix 5
Garmin’s flagship smartwatch, the Fenix, grabs most of the headlines. Wired Magazine called the Fenix 5 “the best thing you can put on your wrist.” But for anglers, the company’s Quatix model is the hands-down choice for an over-the-top wearable. The Quatix 5 shares its hardware and design with the Fenix; however, its software suite is built specifically for boaters, where it offers syncing capability with Garmin chartplotters. That gives you access to autopilot control, waypoint marking and data streaming. And, if you want to get extreme, it also comes pre-loaded with a skydiving app.
4. DJI Spark Mini Drone
The DJI Spark launched in the summer of 2017 to a smattering of skepticism. This palm-sized, affordable drone comes with a gimmicky, Jedi-like motion control system which makes it easy to operate without a remote. For anglers who often have their hands tied up on the water, that makes the Spark an excellent platform for filming their fishing adventures or scouting out shallows with a birds-eye view. Starting at $350, the Spark won’t break the bank like it’s big brothers, but it will give aspiring pros a professional angle for videography that adds a little more flair than the usual GoPro mounted on a windscreen.
5. Tauten Line Welder System
Who has time for tying knots when they’re fishing? If you answered every angler in the history of humankind, you’d be wrong. Delving into the weird spectrum of this list, the savvy group of aqua-scientists at Tauten have developed a line welding system that fuses incredibly strong bonds out of fishing line. The catch? This line welder costs about $200 and typically takes longer to fuse line than an experienced angler would to tie a knot. The advantage? Apparently, no weaknesses in your link to your lure—meaning fewer line breaks and lost fish.
There you have it: a simple list of oddities to fill the decks of anglers who have everything. Sure, none of them will necessarily help them catch more fish—but when has that ever been a prerequisite for selling fishing tackle?